Why is this normal?

I was having a discussion with someone with whom I’ve known for almost 5 years, when she told in an offhand way that her mother died.  So I asked her stupidly, insensitively and instinctively — because that is what everyone asks: “What did she die of?”  She looked at me for a moment before she answered: “my mother and little brother were killed in a terror attack, almost 20 years ago.”

She then went on to talk about other subjects.  Meanwhile I stood there absolutely stunned into speechlessness and totally shocked out of my mind.

What do you say when someone tells you something like that?? How can anyone possibly say something reasonably intelligent after such a statement? Am I supposed to make that universal tsk tsk  tsk sound?  Am I going with the standard…”Oh my gosh I’m sorry! I didn’t know?” line.  Or am I going with the equally stupid yet often used. “Oh my gosh, you poor thing!!”?  How on earth am I supposed to react to such a statement, and one made so calmly it was almost chilling.

Meanwhile, my friend had realized that I hadn’t said anything, and I was literally frozen in place. “Relax.” She told me, totally unfazed. “It’s completely normal.”

Honestly, when she said that my first instinct was to literally rush at her and hit her (fortunately, I remembered my manners, and that she was an orphan).

What exactly is normal about a mother and brother being brutally murdered?? And why do we accept this as normal??

The fact that it happens all the time, Makes this normal??? The fact that we have all gotten used to it? The fact that everyone knows someone whose family has been destroyed by terror, makes it normal?  Makes it okay? It makes it acceptable???

It is not okay!  It will never be okay! And it will certainly never be normal!!

Normal is a mother raising and bringing up her children. Normal is a mother who worries over children, day in and day out.  Normal is a pesky little brother pestering his sisters.   Normal is siblings fighting with one another. Normal is boys playing basketball and soccer.

Normal is not life stopping suddenly because of terror!  Families being torn apart is not normal, and it should never be normal!!!

Living life with the constant shadow of terror over your shoulder is not normal.  It is in fact just another form of terror.

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” Elie Wiesel.